This is a tough one for so many people, and I get it. I am WITH you. It feels like all of a sudden you make a decision to go down this road that you know is beautiful but it’s just so unfamiliar to you… and all of these wonderful faith-filled people you know already know the off road locations and street names and even the scientific name of the flowers you’ll see along the way. All you see is a road. All you know is that you need to start in that direction and all of a sudden you’re “the dumbest person in the room” because you’re not even sure you know how to “pray right”.
Think about other times in your life you started out completely in the dark, when you started something as a newbie. It felt a little overwhelming…but if it was something you really wanted and felt right, that didn’t stop you from continuing on, did it? Faith is not about image. Faith is not about being the slickest pray-er or being able to quote bible verses to fit each scenario in life as it happens.
Faith is about you walking toward something and trusting in it, even when you can’t necessarily see it and knowing that that is enough.
Then something amazing happens. You do start to see it. You start to see proof of it working in your life. You see negative situations in a new light. You see the blessing in your struggle and what you can learn from it. You start to want to gossip less, treat people better, call yourself out when you’re acting like the woman you don’t want to be and stick to your guns on being a kinder and more loving human being. You will start to see it, simply because you believed it and trusted before you ever had the proof.
I started my journey with faith over three years ago and it’s been incredible. The wisdom that comes from this peacefulness and trust is unlike any other. When I walk through a hard season of life (like we are now, or rather, coming to an end with a hard season and we’ll share soon) – I see God working in it and changing my heart. I would never, ever years ago been able to forgive someone for the thing we just experienced the way I have now had it not been for my faith and I find myself even feeling for the person who has intentionally set out to hurt me. Feeling bad for them. Genuinely. Old Amanda would want revenge, new Amanda prays daily for their heart to heal so they don’t feel like they have to choose such a dark path again.
If you are BRAND new to your faith as a Christian and you are just like – okay, what am I supposed to do now? I have some ideas for you! I started out REALLY easing into it and just even writing in my journal about how I had no idea what I was doing. Over time, you see that conversation go from being clueless to pointing out actual clues of how God is working in my life. The maturing of my faith journey has been so incredible and I have SUCH excitement for you knowing you are on this road with me!
1) Read the book Start Here for a good way to get things going in a way that makes sense and helps you understand a little more easily
2) Start with an easy to understand and simple layout devotional like this one! I’ll link a couple of different options to purchase, but it’s the Jesus Calling devotional by Sarah Young. I LOVE this one, it was the best to begin with!
This is the one I have in teal: Jesus Calling
This is the same one with a regular cover: Jesus Calling
This is a pretty pink one: Jesus Calling
3) Getting a bible…you do kind of need one of those, huh!? 🙂 So I REALLY lucked out and got this one randomly at our local bookstore, and I didn’t know much about it when I bought it but gosh – it’s the exact one I needed! Joyce Meyer’s The Everyday Life Bible Amplified offers such incredible perspective and helpfulness with side notes and descriptions everywhere. That is exactly what I need after I read something and go, “wait, what?” – it’s like Joyce is sitting with me going “let me explain” haha! Here’s the link to that on Amazon.
4) I love having a journal with a hard cover (it just feels so sturdy!) and lined pages. This one I found on Amazon also has the ribbon bookmark like mine and for some reason these are just always my favorite to write in!
5) Gel highlighters for bible pages – these are so wonderful and don’t bleed through the pages, that’s what you need! I love mine from the sweetest shop, The Daily Grace Co – and the pens are great, too!
From here – what do you do? Anything you want. If that sounds perfect for you, run with it. If you need a little more guidance…I’ll share what I did!
I started the journal at the same time that I began reading the Start Here book. I just wrote about how this felt and what I thought and the whole process. Eventually I started a routine that YEARS later I still do: I wake up, open my Jesus Calling devotional, journal about what it says, write the bible verse out and if I have time to I’ll open the bible and read the verses around it to get a better understanding. For YEARS, this simple act has been so amazing for me and helped me feel joyfully connected to and protected by God’s word over and over again!
Recently I dove into the two newly released Write The Word journals from the Cultivate Shop and this has been so good for my heart. They released PRAYER and FORGIVENESS as their two new journals this Spring and I hadn’t picked up any Write the Word journals yet but now know it was because I was meant to start with those two in such a tough season of life.
I hope this helps you along your new journey. There is NO right way to do this. I am still not dropping memorized bible verses left and right like I thought I would be, HAHA! I am still an awkward pray-er…but darn do I pray a lot. For my family, for others, for knowledge, for joy. Walk this road confidently and joyfully. You don’t have to know everything about the bible, you probably never will…but you can be thirsty for knowledge and truth and faith and remember that that in itself is enough.
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